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Calgary Transit Fantasy Maps

Silence&Motion

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Every other urban forum has a fantasy transit map thread. Why not Skyrise Calgary? Let's let our imaginations run wild.

I created my own fantasy map for Calgary transit: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1hu86N6Dd2K6PMayT8qpP22i3VCs&usp=sharing

fantasytransitmap.jpg


My intention with the map was to use the city's existing transit plan as a guide, then modify routes and technologies to create the basis for TOD. I also focused on linking together major sites of employment and consumption (universities, hospitals, main streets, malls, etc.) and creating connections outside the downtown core.

In addition to the existing LRT lines and the proposed Green Line, I've added:

1. An "Orange" LRT line that basically replaces the North Crosstown BRT, connecting Bowness in the west with Peter Lougheed Hospital in the east. It also connects the three northern LRT lines, two hospitals (Foothills and Lougheed)

2. A "Purple" LRT line that replaces the SE-BRT and parts of the SW-BRT, linking together the downtown core with Forest Lawn, 17th Ave, Marda Loop, and MRU. It partially shares the Green Line track through Inglewood and Victoria Park.

3. An airport "spur" line off the current Blue Line

4. Three major BRT lines. (1) A South Crosstown BRT, which is basically what is currently proposed. (2) A North Crosstown BRT that is based on the city's current (vague) plans for a "West Campus" transitway and then somewhat follows the northern part of the current 72 bus route. Finally, (3) a "Circle" BRT that links the outer suburbs to all of the LRT lines and to the airport and provides north-south transit on the east end of the city.

5. A regional rail system that follows the existing tracks, which is basically what others have been proposing in the regional rail thread: three separate lines respectively linking Banff, Airdrie, and Okotoks/High River to downtown Calgary.

Anyway, I'd be interesting in any comments or hearing other's transit wish list.
 

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Social Justice

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Every other urban forum has a fantasy transit map thread. Why not Skyrise Calgary? Let's let our imaginations run wild.

I created my own fantasy map for Calgary transit: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1hu86N6Dd2K6PMayT8qpP22i3VCs&usp=sharing

View attachment 126337

My intention with the map was to use the city's existing transit plan as a guide, then modify routes and technologies to create the basis for TOD. I also focused on linking together major sites of employment and consumption (universities, hospitals, main streets, malls, etc.) and creating connections outside the downtown core.

In addition to the existing LRT lines and the proposed Green Line, I've added:

1. An "Orange" LRT line that basically replaces the North Crosstown BRT, connecting Bowness in the west with Peter Lougheed Hospital in the east. It also connects the three northern LRT lines, two hospitals (Foothills and Lougheed)

2. A "Purple" LRT line that replaces the SE-BRT and parts of the SW-BRT, linking together the downtown core with Forest Lawn, 17th Ave, Marda Loop, and MRU. It partially shares the Green Line track through Inglewood and Victoria Park.

3. An airport "spur" line off the current Blue Line

4. Three major BRT lines. (1) A South Crosstown BRT, which is basically what is currently proposed. (2) A North Crosstown BRT that is based on the city's current (vague) plans for a "West Campus" transitway and then somewhat follows the northern part of the current 72 bus route. Finally, (3) a "Circle" BRT that links the outer suburbs to all of the LRT lines and to the airport and provides north-south transit on the east end of the city.

5. A regional rail system that follows the existing tracks, which is basically what others have been proposing in the regional rail thread: three separate lines respectively linking Banff, Airdrie, and Okotoks/High River to downtown Calgary.

Anyway, I'd be interesting in any comments or hearing other's transit wish list.

Great map! You forgot to add the Providence spur off the south line. ;)
 

Surrealplaces

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I'd love to see an airport spur off of the blue line. I know it's been debated and many don't think it's feasible, but it would feel like a game changer for Calgary as a city.
 

Oddball

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Love it! I was gonna do one of these threads eventually. I'll have to make a new version. The last map I did accidentally got deleted. MS Paint is my medium, but yours is much more sophisticated. Which program did you use to create it?

I think we have many similar themes. I'll wait to do my map before doing a broader compare and contrast. Do you imagine that lines like your Purple Line and Orange Line are largely surface lines as most of Calgary's Light Rail lines are today? Or are the proto-subway elements like along 17th ave sw? What kind of trains would you run also? I think of this because we know the Green Line will be low-floor and thus different than the Red and Blue Lines.

Lastly, howcome you didn't push your regional rail out east to Chestermere and Strathmore? And how do you imagine your downtown Calgary train station?
 

Oddball

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Feelings don't fill seats.
What kind of statistics/studies have they done on the feasibility and ridership of an airport spur-line? I was kind of under the impression that when the tunnel was built under the new runway that this might have a chance of becoming a reality.

Not to mention the ol' "Vancouver is the only city in Canada with a transit line to it's airport." line that gets bandied about every so often. I thought it was supposed to be important to have one or something. :confused:
 

Silence&Motion

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Love it! I was gonna do one of these threads eventually. I'll have to make a new version. The last map I did accidentally got deleted. MS Paint is my medium, but yours is much more sophisticated. Which program did you use to create it?
I used the "my maps" function for Google Maps. I began with an LRT map that I think was created by Calgary Transit, but now I can't find the original link.

I think we have many similar themes. I'll wait to do my map before doing a broader compare and contrast. Do you imagine that lines like your Purple Line and Orange Line are largely surface lines as most of Calgary's Light Rail lines are today? Or are the proto-subway elements like along 17th ave sw? What kind of trains would you run also? I think of this because we know the Green Line will be low-floor and thus different than the Red and Blue Lines.
I envisioned the Purple and Orange Lines as using the same (low-floor) technology as the Green Line. The Orange line would run almost exclusively on the surface in the middle of 16 Ave N, just as the Green Line runs through the middle of Centre St N. The Purple line would also run along the surface in the east along 17 Ave SE. It would eventually join the Green Line track at Ramsey and enter the same tunnel as the Green Line in Victoria Park. The Purple line would remain underground as it turned south along 4 St SW and west along 17 Ave SW. It would eventually emerge in the middle (or side) of the Crowchild. Go back underground under 33 Ave and emerge again on the surface in the Currie Barracks site and remain on the surface to the end of the line by MRU.

Looking at it now, I just realized that the Green Line's alignment in the Beltline is out of date. Centre Street should be on 12th Ave, not 10th Ave. Given that the Green and Purple lines are supposed to connect to the regional rail system, however, I like the 10th Ave alignment better.

Lastly, howcome you didn't push your regional rail out east to Chestermere and Strathmore? And how do you imagine your downtown Calgary train station?
I stuck to existing train tracks for the regional rail. As far as I can tell, there are no current tracks that connect Calgary to Chestermere and Strathmore. Even in a fantasy, I can't justify spending money to run tracks into sprawling exurban communities that don't look like they have much potential for TOD. What I did instead was run the Purple line out to the city limits with the idea that this could be a "park and ride" station for people living in the east.

In general I tried to be mindful of building transit that would encourage densification of existing population centers as opposed to promoting more sprawl.

Finally, the area that I marked "Calgary Centre" station would be located roughly at the base of the Calgary tower. From what I understand there was a passenger train station there at some point. I'm not sure if it still exists within the bowels of the building. Either way, I could envision demolishing the parking garage on the south side of the tracks to make room for an expanded train station. The Green and Purple lines would pass underground and connect with the regional rail station above.
 

Surrealplaces

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Feelings don't fill seats.
I haven't looked at any feasibility studies for it, and if I recall correctly it was looked at but wasn't feasible, still it seems like the Airport and the adjacent industrial parks are growing, and that there is an opportunity there.
 

darwink

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I haven't looked at any feasibility studies for it, and if I recall correctly it was looked at but wasn't feasible, still it seems like the Airport and the adjacent industrial parks are growing, and that there is an opportunity there.
From the other place:
MalcolmTucker;7365784 said:
Airport rail is like the subway to the beach to use Human Transit's analysis. People can imagine themselves using it so they think it makes sense. A significant modal share to airports is friends and family drop off. This will not change. Business travellers staying outside of the core will likely have rental cars or be relying on whatever livery type service exists in the future.

I know for the most part capital cannot be translated to operations in Alberta, but even for 1/3rd of the capital cost you can pay for pretty pkck ass bus service that is better than rail (more frequent) for 30 years.

Portland's LRT stop at the airport has dismal ridership, as does St. Louis. Vancouver's modal share is low as well for now, when you take away employees using it to get from their parking lot. Denver doesn't need much pax traffic to justify the investment as their system is designed to stave off expansion to their freeway network not generate huge ridership - 2,000 car loads at peak hours is another full lane, and 200 cars off the road at peak hour can stop a two lane highway from tipping over from busy, to congested, to failure mode (damn u-shaped curves for traffic capacity!).

UP is a problem of sales to the public more than anything. It doesn't make money because a lot of dual use infrastructure was added to the project budget. It has frequency higher than the airport BART most if not all of the time. It is there as a relief valve to allow Toronto to continue securing conventions and businesses that require travel as congestion is pretty bad (and the number of hours per day that roads from downtown to the airport are in congestion mode are increasing) and Toronto refuses to implement demand management to speed up trips.

Should both lines that will cross 96th have substiantial stations to ease transfers and provision for a future dedicated transportation corridor of somekind? Yes. Do we need to build that dedicated transit mode that now or before highspeed rail or way more passengers? No. What I would guess would be the cheapest system to build? Gondolas. 10 km with two turns and four terminals (you could link the two airport terminals for through travel at a very low marginal cost). No need to build bridges over Deerfoot, Nose Creek, or Metis, and they can be run pretty close to the ground if you fence the ROW. 8-10 minutes to either LRT station with no waiting time more than equals faster modes with lower frequencies ( a spur to the NE line would run at best half the frequency of the current line, probably more like 1/3 or 1/4 the current frequency is more in line with minimum service standards considering demand won't need any more).
And another post from the other place, though the data is old (2009)
MalcolmTucker;4247690 said:
Well, I don't think there should be an airport link at all. If the airport authority wants it they can build a people mover out to a station on the main line, or they can pay the capital cost and operational cost of running a spur line.

For the number of customers that would ride the link, it is pretty pointless. Case in point, St. Louis and Portland.

Both airports serve around 15 million passengers a year, around 4.5 times larger than Ottawa's airport, both are connected to light rail directly.

Their rail links see:
Portland: 2800 passengers a day (worker arriving and departing counted twice)
St. Louis: 5073 passengers a day (two stations, worker arriving and departing counted twice, transfer between terminals counted twice)

The number of passengers served (assuming no staff used the system) in Portland is 6.6% and in St. Louis is about 10%.

To serve that little percentage of passengers, of a much smaller airport isn't really worth it. An airport link is a political vanity project and nothing more.
 

googspecial

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I made this one a while back for SSP and updated it a bit.

Red Line - Largely stays the same, with the Providence spur and a Walden Extension
Blue Line - MRU spur under 37 ST from Westbrook, 85 ST extension
Green Line - Low floor, follows current alignment from North to Quarry Park, then back Westward, T'suu T'ina
Terminus. International Avenue spur after the Inglewood 11 ST Station (uses BRT bridge now under construction.
Purple Line - Low Floor as well for coupling through Ogden and Quarry park, then follows the current Green Line alignment South to Seton. North from Quarry park, along 36 ST to a transfer station at Marlborough. Then West ward along 16 AVE through Bowness (not convinced on this alignment) to COP.
Yellow Line - Urban Transit Gondola connection Westbrook and Brentwood Stations. Stops at Parkdale, Foothills and Children's/University .


I'd like to add regional lines if I get the time. Link to scrollable map with stations:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1jLih50EBtpUec9UouT-I1CPEfwU&usp=sharing
 
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Surrealplaces

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I guess that's not a lot of passengers, and Calgary is about as busy as far as # of passengers. What about a case of the city and Airport authority splitting the cost?

From the other place:

Portland: 2800 passengers a day (worker arriving and departing counted twice)
St. Louis: 5073 passengers a day (two stations, worker arriving and departing counted twice, transfer between terminals counted twice)


And another post from the other place, though the data is old (2009)
 

darwink

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I guess that's not a lot of passengers, and Calgary is about as busy as far as # of passengers. What about a case of the city and Airport authority splitting the cost?
I think it is more reasonable to share the cost. I'd be fine with the city even picking up the vast majority of the cost, and the airport only paying for a few incremental bits (station the same look and feel as the airport, a station at a rental car aggregation point, a station at offsite parking and maybe a station near the massive convention development).

Really what I don't want is building a vanity project that makes transit better for a very small number of people while making it worse for a lot more people when for the same money or less a better system could be built.

A better system (save for a business class product to undercut taxis serving downtown with one seat service) will always have a forced transfer from an airport line to either or both of the NE or Centre LRTs as it enables higher frequencies both to the airport and on the LRT lines. It seems counter intuitive until you think about it holistically but it is actually much better.
 

Surrealplaces

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For me it's definitely more of a vanity, cool look project. I think there is some value to it, but yeah, lots of cost that could go to something else. I don't know how much a spur would cost, but let's say for argument sake, it's $250M. It would be easier for the airport authority to tack on say, $5 dollars to each ticket and fund a portion of it over time.
 

darwink

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You have to think about non-capital costs in this case including making service worse forever on points north of the spur, and having low frequency to the airport due to low proportionate demand compared to the main line, plus running trains 5 KM to serve a low demand point.

5.25 KM from the west, 5.15 KM from the east.
upload_2017-11-8_10-24-7.png
 

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